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Wednesday, April 10, 2002
Pioneer releases its new DVD-R/RW drive for PCs, the "DVR-A04-J"

Pioneer Corporation announced its new DVD-R/RW Drive for PC, the ATAPI type "DVR-A04-J", for the release in Japan that records and plays back DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW discs on personal computers running Windows¨. It will be equipped with a wealth of opportunities with bundled video authoring, data writing and video playback software and the formatting time of a DVD-RW disc has been reduced to approximately one minute. It will be launched in the Japanese consumer market this late April at open price, and the company said will produce 3,000 units of "DVR-A04-J" monthly.

The rapid diffusion of personal computers equipped with DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players is a gathering momentum, and greater numbers of users now want to produce their own original DVDs. Under such circumstances, personal computers being introduced into the market by manufacturers feature improved CPU performance, and increasing numbers of these models are also equipped with internal recordable DVD drives for video editing and other applications. Above all, users are becoming increasingly interested in the DVD-R/RW media with its superior playback compatibility with other DVD playback devices and its large storage capacity, which is equal to that of DVD-Video or approximately seven times greater than CD-R/RW. Pioneer's new DVR-A04-J comes bundled with a variety of software: video authoring software will allow users to easily make their own DVD discs on a PC as well as writing software that lets users record data in simple drag-and-drop operations as they would with a floppy disk. In addition to that, the time for formatting a DVD-RW disc required for packet writing has been reduced to approximately one minute from the former 60 minutes or more time.

Pioneer expects that the introduction of the DVR-A04-J will further expand the DVD-R/RW market.

<< Major Features of the DVR-A04-J >>

1) DVD-Video authoring and playback software and convenient writing software supplied

The DVR-A04-J comes bundled with "DVDit! SE" and "MyDVD" DVD authoring software (from SONIC SOLUTIONS) required for making original DVD-Video discs, as well as "PowerDVD XP" DVD playback software (from CyberLink), "Instant CD+DVD" CD/DVD writing software (from SoftBoat), and "Drag'nDropDVD" (from DigiOn / Easy Systems Japan).

"MyDVD" lets users record videos directly onto DVD and quickly produce attractive DVD titles with menus. Because the software's Re-recording function allows recorded images from DVD-R/RW discs to read in to the computer's hard disc again, users can re-edit the recorded images and record again to the DVD-R or RW discs.

2) With "Instant CD+DVD (*2)", now the DVD-RW disc formatting takes only approximately one minute

The DVR-A04-J is the first Pioneer product to support the quick DVD-RW disc formatting (*3) feature of "Instant CD+DVD". Formally, the disc formatting of DVD-RW was done on the whole disc, which required the same time to that of writing (more than an hour), however, with quick DVD-RW disc formatting, now it takes only approximately one minute to format a disc. With this quick formatting, the drive formats only the part to be used on the DVD-RW disc (read-in, read-out, file systems), and there are no necessity to format the disc afterwards.

Furthermore, it can be edited / appended on DVD-R disc (multi border (*4)), and can be used just like the edit / appending on CD-R.

*2) The software bundled with DVR-A04-J is not the same version of the commercialized software.
*3) The quick DVD-RW disc formatting can be used for DVR-A03-J by installing the "Instant CD+DVD", which upgrades its firmware.
*4) Multi border is equivalent to that of multi session for CD-R.

3) Write and playback capabilities for DVD-R (For General ver. 2.0) / RW (ver. 1.1), and CD-R/RW

The DVR-A04-J writes and plays back DVD-R (For General ver. 2.0) and DVD-RW (ver. 1.1) discs with the same 4.7-GB capacity as DVD-ROM and DVD-Video discs. It is also capable of 2x (*5) DVD-R recording speed. Since the DVR-A04-J can record and play CD-R/RW discs as well, this unit supports a wide range of media including high-speed CD-RW discs.

*5) Can be used only with discs that support 2x DVD-R recording.

4) Can be read or played in DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players DVD-R (For General ver. 2.0) and DVD-RW (ver. 1.1) discs containing computer data recorded by the DVR-A04-J can be read by most DVD-ROM drives (*6), and DVD-R/RW discs recorded in Video mode can be read or played back by most DVD-ROM drives or DVD-Video players (*7).

*6) Some DVD-ROM drives may not be able to read or play these discs.
*7) In the year 2000, the DVD Forum approved the use of the DVD-Video format for recording on DVD-R/RW discs. Supporting playback of DVD-R/RW discs recorded in the DVD-Video format is optional for manufacturers of DVD playback devices, and there are DVD-Video players, DVD-ROM drive equipped PCs or other playback devices that do not play DVD-R/RW discs recorded in the DVD-Video format.

5) Specially edited manual for understanding how to produce DVD-Video and DVD-ROMs

The DVR-A04-J also comes bundled with Perfect Rewritable DVD Manual, a book that provides information about DVD standards and drives, writing/recording software, and how to produce original DVD-Video and DVD-ROMs. This manual explains in simple language the often complicated procedures for recording original DVD-Video material on DVD-R/RW discs that can be played on compatible players and gives users a deeper understanding of DVD and MPEG2 standards, video capturing, video editing, MPEG encoding, and DVD authoring.

6) Compact size and vertical mount capability to allow installation to more personal computers

The DVR-A04-J features 197.7mm in its length, 10mm shorter than the former DVR-A03-J. Added with its vertical mount capability, it can be installed to more personal computers than before.

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